Right away, we noticed the size and weight of this shock. The overall size is super small, and the shock stroke is very small. Weighing in at just 170g, it’s clear that this shock is positioned for the XC crowd.
With the reduced weight however comes reduced features. This shock is ultra simple - it only has a rebound adjustment dial and a lock out switch. And lock out means locked out. There is no blow-off safety. Forget to open up the shock on a descent and you will definitely be reminded of your error quickly.
In addition to the lock out, the shock has a wide range of adjustment for rebound control for a seemingly infinite amount of adjustment.
Setting up the Microlite is just as easy as other X Fusion products. We set the sag and rebound to match the fork, and that was it. Like all of the X Fusion line, there is no adjustment to be made aside from the air pressure and rebound. Gear-heads may not like this, but we find it somewhat of a relief and just one less thing to think about.
Riding the shock (set up on a Santa Cruz Tallboy) was remarkable. It was very lively over small bumps and felt extremely smooth, without feeling bouncy. This is due to the high flow piston and damper design which allows oil to move through the shock quickly. During climbing, we flipped the switch and locked out, but the lock out was so firm that we preferred the ride of the bike with the shock open - even when climbing. That's a personal preference.
X-Fusion says that this shock has a semi-progressive air spring, and we would agree. It’s extremely active early, and then ramps up near the end of travel. We’re yet to bottom out the shock on XC and light trail riding. We did find that we needed to increase the rebound control in race situations by a few clicks of the dial over how we had the shock set up for training - faster we rode, the faster it wanted to rebound up and lift the rear wheel. No problem; the shock comes with plenty of adjustment in the dial.
Overall, we're extremely impressed with this shock. It's weight is feathery and really makes the bike ride like it's on a cloud of air. This is a great XC shock, for XC purposes, but this shock can take almost anything you can throw at it. It's not a downhill shock, obviously, but for an XC race rocket or all day out-n-back trail riding, this shock is it.